If looks could kill, Kobe Bryant would be a wanted man.
In what has been declared one of the iciest stares caught on camera, Bryant's frustration with the struggling Los Angeles Lakers could have a change for the better when the Golden State Warriors invade Staples Center Friday.
The Lakers swept last season's series with the Warriors, winning all four encounters, and are 25-3 in the past 28 meetings between the Pacific Division rivals. On top of that, the Lakers have won eight in a row and 17 of the last 18 matchups as the host.
Los Angeles has the worst record in the Western Conference at 1-4 and Bryant's disappointment with the team carried over into Wednesday's 95-86 loss at Utah. Bryant was on the bench with a seething stare that appeared to be directed at head coach Mike Brown, who has the support of Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss. Buss said he just has to be patient with Brown and his new Princeton-style offense.
Patience is not becoming a virtue right now for one of the more recognizable franchises in sports. In the loss against the Jazz, the Lakers never led and Bryant poured in a game-best 29 points, going 15-of-17 from the foul line. Dwight Howard, the key component to the Lakers' offseason, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. The L.A. bench was outscored, 36-12.
"I thought we didn't play well offensively," Brown said. "I can count on both hands and both feet how many wide-open shots we had, especially from the 3-point line, that you hope or think is going to go in. Every wide-open three that we missed or every time we went up to try to dunk the ball or lay it in and it got stripped or it got knocked out of our hands, it made us tighten up a little bit more. Again, we didn't do a good job of moving on to the next play."
Metta World Peace was the only other Laker to score in double figures, as he netted 15 points to go along with seven boards.
The Lakers, who are 1-4 for the first time since 1993-94, hope to resuscitate their season Friday in the opener of a six-game homestand versus Golden State, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston and Brooklyn.
Golden State is off to a promising 3-2 start and has alternated wins and losses through the first five games. The Warriors will try to win consecutive games for the first time this season Friday and recorded a 106-96 triumph versus Cleveland two days ago.
Double-double machine David Lee had 22 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals for Golden State, which got 21 points and six assists from Stephen Curry and 19 points off the bench out of Carl Landry. Lee was one of only four players to average 20-plus points and nine-plus rebounds in 2011-12.
"It was a thing of beauty the way we played offensively," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "I liked the pace especially. I thought our guys did a great job of reading and reacting while being unselfish all night long."
Jackson's bunch made 53.8 percent from the field, registered 30 points off 16 Cavalier turnovers and stormed out to a 33-18 advantage.
Klay Thompson had 13 points versus the Cavs and has scored in double figures in a career-best 19 games in a row.
In franchise history, the Warriors' longest stretch of alternating wins and losses to open a season is six games (2006-07). All three of their road games have been decided by four points or less.